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Do you have an American Express card? Many AmEx cards include travel insurance, which can cover you in the event that an incident occurs. Among other benefits, AmEx provides complimentary rental car insurance on its cards, though the coverage level can vary depending on the card you hold.
Here's a look at AmEx car rental insurance, which cards have it and how it works.
Does AmEx cover rental car insurance?
Many AmEx cards include rental car insurance as a benefit. This applies to its most premium options, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express, as well as no-fee cards such as the Hilton Honors American Express Card. Terms apply.
AmEx cards that provide rental car insurance
Here are some of the AmEx cards that provide rental car insurance:
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
Coverage levels differ depending on which card you hold. If you have The Platinum Card® from American Express, for example, AmEx will reimburse up to $75,000 for damage or theft after a qualifying incident. Meanwhile, if you have the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, you’ll receive $50,000 in coverage after an incident. Terms apply.
Secondary insurance becomes primary if you don’t hold any other car insurance, even within the U.S.
Note that AmEx car rental insurance is secondary, which means it’ll reimburse you only after all other insurance has paid out. This includes any personal insurance that you have.
» Learn more: Best credit cards for rental cars
What does AmEx rental car insurance cover?
Complimentary credit card rental insurance does a pretty good job when it comes to coverage, but keep in mind that what's covered depends on the card you hold.
Theft of a covered rental car.
Physical damage to the vehicle.
Accidental death or dismemberment.
Car rental personal property coverage.
Loss-of-use charges as incurred by the agency.
Reasonable towing charges.
Coverage for other cards is less comprehensive and includes:
Theft of the rental car.
Reasonable towing charges.
Physical damage to the vehicle.
You’ll find this type of insurance on cards such as the American Express® Gold Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card. Terms apply.
To receive coverage for your rental vehicle, you’ll need to:
Pay for the full rental using your eligible AmEx card.
Decline the optional insurance coverages offered by the rental company — for higher-end cards, this means you’ll also need to decline insurance such as personal property coverage and personal accident insurance. Other cardholders simply need to decline the full collision damage waiver.
Note that you can still receive insurance if you’ve used your American Express Membership Rewards to pay for the car, but not if you used any other reward programs.
Rental car insurance is valid for rentals of up to 30 consecutive days only. Terms apply.
Who is covered?
AmEx’s rental car insurance protects more than the cardholder. As defined in the guide to benefits, an eligible renter for collision insurance is a card member with an eligible card, their spouse or partner and any authorized drivers. For other types of insurance, such as accidental injury insurance, passengers of the vehicle are also covered. Terms apply.
How to file a claim with AmEx rental car insurance
There are two different ways to file a claim for an incident. The first is to head to AmEx’s online site and start your claim.
If you prefer talking to someone, report your claim by calling 800-338-1670. If you’re out of the country, call 303-273-6497 collect. You’ll want to report the incident within 30 days of the loss or as soon as reasonably possible.
Then, you'll need to submit proof of loss within 60 days. Expect to provide a variety of documentation, including:
An itemized repair estimate and itemized bill.
A copy of the rental agreement.
A copy of the charge slip for the vehicle.
A copy of your personal insurance or a notarized letter stating that you don’t have any.
Police report (if there is one).
A copy of your driver’s license.
Once AmEx has all your information and has processed your claim, they’ll pay out your benefits within 30 days. Terms apply.
AmEx car rental insurance, recapped
Most AmEx cards come with some form of rental car insurance. This is true of both premium cards with high annual fees and lower-fee cards alike. However, the type of insurance and the level of coverage that you’ll receive varies based on your card. Terms apply.
To determine how the rental car insurance for your card works, you’ll want to check out its guide to benefits, where you’ll find information such as coverage limits and who is eligible for coverage.
To receive complimentary rental car insurance, you’ll need to pay for the full rental with your eligible card. You’ll also need to decline any insurance offered by the rental agency. Once that’s done, insurance is automatic and you can drive away knowing that you’re covered.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card